In a battle of two ranked teams in Class AA Thursday night, it was the Marshall Tigers who came out on top. The No. 1 Tigers were tested in the Southwest Conference matchup against No. 7 Jackson County Central, but were able to earn the sweep (25-23, 25-20, 25-20) in Jackson.
With the win, Marshall improves to 11-1 overall and 2-0 in conference play.
"It was a good match," Tiger head coach Dan Westby said. "It was a hard-fought match."
Westby was pleased that his team kept its composure while competing in the tournament-type environment.
"Their crowd was really into it," he said. "It really made for an exciting atmosphere. It was good for our kids to play in that kind of environment. And JCC really played well. We were really impressed with how hard they played."
Overall, Westby was happy with the way his team passed the ball and was able to keep in-system. For her effort, Rachel Sanow earned 35 set assists. Kenzie Beekman knocked down 22 kills for Marshall, while Callie Graff had nine. Marah Mulso and Lexi Saugstad added seven kills apiece.
Though challenged all night, the Tigers also did a good job of keeping rallies alive, Westby said. Hannah Bennett was solid in the back row, picking up 27 digs, while Beekman tallied 22. Steph Baker chipped in with nine digs.
"I thought we really passed well," Westby said. "We thought we did a nice job of defending in the back row, too. There were a number of long rallies in the match and both teams did a nice job of keeping the ball off the floor."
Saugstad led Marshall from the serving line, going 18-for-19 with one ace, while Graff went 12-for-12 with an ace, Beekman 10-for-10 with an ace and Baker 10-for-11 with an ace.
The Tigers play in the first round of the Apple Valley Tournament today.
Jackson County Central 0
Marshall 25 25 25
JCC 23 20 20
MARSHALL INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
Serving (att-good-aces): Lexi Saugstad 18-19-1, Callie Graff 12-12-1, Kenzie Beekman 10-10-1, Steph Baker 10-11-1
Kills: Beekman 22, Graff 9, Marah Mulso 7, Saugstad 7
Digs: Hannah Bennett 27, Beekman 22, Baker 9
Set Assists: Rachel Sanow 35
Blocks: Mulso 4, Beekman 1, Graff 1